When people come to Cambridge Keg & Cork to make their own wine, beer or cider, owner Jay Burnett wants to ensure they have an experience that goes beyond just bottling your own alcoholic beverages.
Burnett aims to create a complete customer experience where friends and family have the opportunity to learn and try new things, while having fun making their own beer, wine, and cider.
“If you look at coming in to bottle your product as a chore, you’re not going to enjoy it and you’re not going to come back,” he said. “If you look at is as you’re coming here and having a couple of drinks and having great conversation, it makes for a fun time.”
Involved in the restaurant and brewery businesses for over 20 years and a certified Prud’homme beer enthusiast, Burnett has vast knowledge and experience when it comes to wine and food pairings, and beer, and can provide customers tips and techniques to create a customized finished product.
The variety of products you can make and bottle at Cambridge Keg & Cork
Burnett begins the process by asking customers what their drink preferences are and then factors in things like what brand it is or what winery or brewery it comes from. Then, based on that information, he’ll suggest products and flavours according to their personal tastes and preferences.
He has 12 general list beers that can be brewed year-round, and two specialty seasonal beers. This includes domestic lagers, pilsners, European lagers and light beer that can be customized with a variety of flavours.
If you enjoy wine there are several kits to choose from including California and European white and red, and 100 per cent juice wines. The end product can be anything from Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, to Pinot Noir and Cabernet Shiraz, and can also be customized with different flavours.
Burnett said currently, seltzers and ciders are popular, especially for those who prefer a zero-carb option and fruity flavours like apple, pear or spiced apple. There are also endless flavour possibilities with hard seltzers including pineapple, mango mojito, watermelon, and citrus, to name a few.
Not only is bottling your own beverages an experience you can enjoy with your friends and family, but it’s also a way to save money. Burnett said making your own beer or wine can save you up to 50 per cent retail cost. It takes between four to eight weeks for wine, and three weeks for beer, ciders and seltzers, to be ready to share and enjoy.
“My regular clientele, they just write it into their schedule, it’s just a ‘I’ll see you in three weeks or I’ll see you in eight weeks’…they’re always very happy,” he said, adding if they’re not, he’ll tweak their product until they’re satisfied.
How Cambridge Keg & Cork gives back to their community
Originally from Norfolk County (he even sells Jensen cheese as an homage), Burnett and his family have called Cambridge home for 11 years. As community members with a local business, he said it’s important for them to support charitable initiatives whether monetarily, by offering sponsorships or by supporting local programs.
This past Christmas, they supported A Very Covid Christmas by donating grocery cards to a local restaurateur who made and delivered turkey dinners, and they support Greens on Queen, a local garden initiative that grows food for the Cambridge Food Bank.
Burnett also runs a cork recycling program where natural corks brought to his store are sent to a facility annually to be recycled and reused, preventing new cork trees from being cut down for products. In return, he receives a donation to a charity of his choice, and this year it’ll be given to their local scout troupe.
If you want to have fun and save money making your own beer, wine or cider, contact Cambridge Keg & Cork at 519-624-2337 or e mail [email protected] them to make an appointment today! You can also visit their Facebook page for the latest news and events.